A video clip that has emerged on the social media belies the claims of the Uttar Pradesh Police that not a 'single' bullet has been fired by them during the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests that led to a large scale violence in the state last week.
In the video clip that purportedly is from Kanpur, a policeman is seen firing from his revolver. The policeman, wearing a safety jacket and a helmet, can be seen walking at the site of the clashes with a revolver and baton. He can be seen walking to a corner and opening fire.
Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) O. P. Singh has claimed repeatedly that only the protesters used firearms in the ongoing violence.
The Uttar Pradesh Police have also said that of the 288 policemen who sustained injuries in the violence in the state since Thursday, 57 policemen have been injured by firearms.
Uttar Pradesh Inspector General (Law and Order) Praveen Kumar said that over 400 empty cartridges have been recovered across the state, which proves that protesters were firing with country-made weapons and that those who died in their fire were either innocent bystanders or part of the mob themselves.
The spokesman of the police department said that the video clip would be verified to ascertain whether the policeman actually fired or was just brandishing the revolver.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, for the first time, makes religion the test of citizenship in India. The government says it will help the non-Muslim minorities from three Muslim-dominated countries to get citizenship if they flee to India because of religious persecution. Critics say it is designed to discriminate against the Muslims and violates the secular principles of the constitution.
The DGP said that 131 FIRs had been lodged in connection with the violence and 879 persons had been arrested. He said over 5,000 people have been confined. The number of the injured police personnel was 288.